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  • Writer's pictureP O R T E R

A kinder, gentler approach to pilot season

We are in the middle of pilot season.  What does this mean to you?  Amongst developmental actors, I believe there are generally two schools of thought:  First, there are those who feel despondent and think series regular auditions are a waste of time because (they say bitterly), “They’re going to cast a name, anyway.”  Secondly, there are those who see each pilot audition as their ticket to stardom, and therefore the stakes become much higher than those of a “normal” audition.

I offer a third way to look at pilot season.  In fact, it’s the way I like to think of all auditions:  as a chance to build relationships with casting offices, and your opportunity to play this part how you envision it being played.

For those of you in the “why bother” school of thought regarding series regular auditions…

You should bother because this is a chance to chew on a nice, meaty role and really show your stuff.  If you got into acting for the right reasons, you should revel in the fact that you get to create a full, multi-dimensional character.  Many casting directors use pilot auditions as a chance to see new actors.  This is your chance to begin a relationship with a potential fan!  That’s worth the bother.

For those in the “ticket to stardom” school of thought…

Is it possible that you will book a series regular role with no significant TV or film credits on your resume?  Sure.  Dreams do come true and there are exceptions to every rule.  Is it likely?  No.  But knowing these odds is a good thing–it takes the pressure off!  Again, look at this as your chance to play the part.  Enjoy the process of discovering and developing a character, which is hopefully one of the things that brought you to acting in the first place.  If you do your work and let go of the end result, you are more likely to find yourself in that office again.  It might be for this role, or it might be for something else down the road.

One final thought…

Actors often see auditions as a Sisyphean task, i.e., they feel like they are pushing a boulder to the top of a large hill with each audition, only to see it roll all the way back down when they don’t book the job.  That’s simply not true.  Each time you  have an audition, you are pushing the boulder a little further up the hill.  It may not get all the way to the top on the first push, but know that it’s also not going to roll back down.  As you develop  your casting relationships with each audition, you are pushing that boulder a little further up that hill.  If you keep at it, you will eventually–or even suddenly–find yourself at the top.

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